Beast Runeword - D2R 2.5
Ber + Tir + Um + Mal + Lum
5 Socket Axes / Scepters / Hammers
Patch 1.10 Runeword
Beast is a very interesting Runeword which serves a few very specialised functions:
1. Several classes use Beast for the level 9 Fanaticism Aura which grants:
· +186% Damage (Self)
· +93% Damage (Party)
· +80% Attack Rating and
· +29% Attack Speed.
Summoners commonly use this to buff the effectiveness of their minions and their mercenary. It is also an option for dual-wielding Barbarians since it may help them to reach the next IAS breakpoint. Auras granted by items are unaffected by +Skills.
2. Beast Berserker Axe is commonly used in conjunction with Grief for BvC matchups. The goal is to hit the target with very short whirlwinds (1-2 Hitchecks) so that your primary weapon which attacks first (Grief) will hit a larger percentage of the time, and for a lot more damage. Beast also has a side benefit of providing a source of Open Wounds vs. Energy Shield Sorceresses.
3. An often overlooked aspect of Beast is that it provides up to 40 Strength on your weapon switch. This means that you can use it to strength-bug your gear by performing a quick weapon switch – potentially giving you a few extra points to pump into vitality.
4. Finally, Beast is used in a variety of niche “Bear” builds. The +3 to Werebear and Lycanthropy are Skills and benefit from any relevant +Skills on your character. These characters are usually designed to take advantage of the Werebear’s unique attack animations which result in different IAS breakpoints (usually faster). For instance, a Werebear Assassin can achieve a 5-frame autoattack using an Artisan’s Greater Talon of Quickness. Similarly, a Bear Sorceress can reach a 5-frame autoattack with a 5-6 socket Phase Blade or Griswold’s Redemption.
These fast attack rates can then be synergised with modifiers such as Crushing Blow, Damage Auras (Holy Shock) or %Chance to Cast (Brand). Admittedly, these are mostly novelty builds which can’t really compare with top tier PvM characters - but they are able to handle most Hell content.
Werebear based builds are also very durable due to the large boost to life and defense that it provides. Beast alone with no +Skills will increase Max Life by 80% (and an additional 5% for each +Skill Level). A single source of %Life Stolen per Hit or Life Tap is usually enough to keep your HP topped up.
If you'd rather skip farming you can quickly buy gear at Rpgstash's D2R Store.